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The KGB in 1954 and 1991

The KGB, which was under the jurisdiction of the Council of Ministers, was established on 1 April 1954. The old staff of the MGB were employed, and the methods of activities and the secret operations which they had started continued. Compared to the MGB apparatus, the number of staff was reduced by several times, but the KGB continued its work on the same level, though it could not resort to mass arrests. The attitude of the KGB in Lithuania to the remains of the underground, the émigré organisations, and everywhere where it had to deal with people who expressed clearly nationalist aspirations or took anticommunist positions, did not change. It can be said that the KGB was a threefold organisation, whose main functions were intelligence, counterintelligence, and the fight against “nationalism and anti-Soviet activities”. These were the functions which the KGB carried out, as attested to by the names of the corresponding departments, called the 5th (political surveillance) and the 2nd (counterintelligence). The changes in the country and in the USSR’s international situation had an influence on the work of the KGB and its methods. Although physical annihilation, deportations and imprisonment continued, they were better masked and carried out in subtler ways. Means of psychological pressure, such as surveillance, manipulation and pressure through public opinion, were also cruel and effective. Other measures which the KGB resorted to were the following: ruining the professional career, preventive talks, exile from the SSSR, compulsory commitment to psychiatric hospitals, political trials, slander, lies and discrediting campaigns, various provocations and threats. The struggle against nationalism and anti-Soviet manifestations inside the country and abroad were the main sphere of KGB activities until 1990.

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